Welcome Stitchers and Friends! This blog is about my wee cottage industry: Fearn Abbey Needleworks; and about my own personal stitching adventures. Have a wee look around and see if we can be stitching friends. Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Did You Know...and...a Free Chart!

I have been busy...branching out!  A good thing to do for Springtime, yes? I have been designing like crazy, stitching, and creating two new arms / branches of Fearn Abbey Needleworks. One branch is called The Orthodox Stitcher, and if you visit the site, you will find a FREE DESIGN there. You can learn about that branch there as well, and what my plans are.

I'll post more about the other branch in a bit!

Meanwhile, I'm hurrying along with another design that I am trying to finish as fast as I can. It turned out to be a much bigger (time-consuming) project that I anticipated, as usual. I am very, very pleased with how it is coming along though. I will post a photo when I am done.

My dear husband and I are off tomorrow morning early for an overnight in Edinburgh. I might not have any stitching time for two days. But, I am taking it along, just in case. If I don't, the compensation is: a visit to at least one, maybe two castles! I'm not complaining!

Happy stitching!
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I Must Be Old

Hi Friends,

See that cute little "chalkboard" design up there?  Yes, the one by Hands On Design.  Well, I'm attempting to stitch it.  I thought to myself, "This will be a quick little stitch to do in between or along with all the other stuff I'm doing." (Namely my own designs.)  HA! It uses a slate grey, 30-count linen, 2 over 2. I can't see what I'm stitching AT ALL! I have so far stitched the green line in the middle, and half the S. Can you believe that? I have used my strongest reading glasses, really GOOD light (tried it with the Ott Light, tried it in very good natural light), AND a magnifier hanging around my neck. I STILL can't see to stitch properly!

I must be getting old. No. I must BE old. Someone help! How do I make this stitching go a little easier? Oh, and I've already tried the white cloth / paper underneath, too.

I signed up for an auto-ship program though the good people at Patchwork Rabbit. I would hate to have to UN-sign-up because I can't see. Any suggestions anyone?

I'd like to say "Happy Stitching" but, I'm NOT a happy stitcher at the moment!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St Patrick's Day!

There is something about St Patrick's Day.  I think it's probably a combination of things that make me look fondly on this special day: Irish ancestry on my mother's side, an affinity for Ireland (although I've only actually been once), an affinity for the saint himself, the color green, and the fact that my nephew was born on St Patrick's Day, among some of them.

I like to celebrate special days by creating designs for them, too.  This year's, as you already know, is the Leprechaun Lamb above.  

Earlier, I created a St Patrick as part of my Saints Series. All of my saints are inspired by some combination of research I have done, the art of iconography, and art of the very early Middle Ages.

Somewhere between St Patrick and the Leprechaun Lamb, I created this little sampler. You can't tell from the photo (I really MUST get a better camera, but (a) I'm cheap like that, and (b) I wouldn't even know where to start!) but this design is stitched on green iridescent Aida, and it's very sparkly in real life.

Do you have any favorite St Patrick's Day designs you have stitched, or want to stitch? 

Spring is coming here! I have seen snowdrops for the past month or more, and now the crocuses, and soon the daffodils! Also, a flowering hawthorn is coming into bloom. It seems like it has been a long winter. I should have produced more stitching, I think, but maybe a lighter heart and lighter weather will spur me on!

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Finish!

Here it is:  my latest design finally finished.  Or, I should say, ONE of my designs finished.  I have soooo much stitching to do!

I quick put this one on the FRONT burner so I could get him out in time for St Patrick's Day.  He's listed in my Etsy shop, and I call him:  The Lucky Leprechaun Lamb of Loch Eye.  The first part of the name should be obvious, but the Loch Eye comes from our location.  It's right near where we live. 

I had so much fun stitching this design. It's based on our lamb Doodle, but he's all dolled up for St Patrick's Day.  It's a perfect stitch for Springtime, or any time!  The mottledy-speckledy lamb was a bit of a challenge to stitch at times:  lots of confetti stitching.  But that's Doodle.  A challenge!  Also, it's very Doodle of him to be eating the shamrocks and flowers!  The model was stitched on 14-count Sage Aida.  I really enjoy using various colored fabrics and am partial to Aida myself.  Especially when you're stitching anything like this with lots of little color variations.  The pattern uses DMC stranded cotton threads.

Now I'm off to pick up another design I set aside in order to do this one.  And, I'm still stitching away on my little gifts.  Lots of irons in the fire.  What is everyone else working on?

Happy Stitching!

And... my cold is almost gone.  Now, if the weather would improve a bit...

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Ten Days and Counting...

I've had a horrible cold for TEN DAYS!  And it's still going strong.  I can't really complain (well, I CAN, and often do ~ just ask my husband) because I haven't had a bad cold in a very long time.  I forgot what it's like to not be able to do anything because of your drippy nose and horrible cough. Except, I can stitch (as long as the tissues are close by, and there is a bottomless glass of water at hand).

So, I'm working feverishly (literally) on a design I can't wait to show you.  I want to get it done THIS WEEK.  Here's hoping...

Meanwhile, about those polls... It seems we are pretty much all of like minds when it comes to what the hardest things about stitching are:  "getting started" and "finishing off" came out on top ~ equally! I would agree with both of those.  You have to become very creative in finishing ideas when you start accumulating tons of finished projects.  We can't hang every single one on the walls!  And, there are only so many throw pillows we can place around the house, too.  I have a board on my Pinterest where I collect finishing ideas.  Check it out if you are a Pinterest Person!

As for your favorite type of material to stitch on:  linen!  I confess, I was a bit surprised.  I thought it would be evenweaves, or a variety of things.  Personally, I prefer Aida because I like the large color range and the varying sizes.  My next favorite is evenweave, particularly something like Jobelan, Lugana, or Monaco.  I also like doing work on specialty fabrics like those with a special dye or maybe a glittery thread woven through.  What I enjoyed about these answers, though, was discovering how different we all are... which is one of the things that makes cross stitch such a wonderful art and craft.  The combinations and possibilities are truly endless.

Thanks for playing along with my polls.  I'll be doing more eventually!  Meanwhile... I'm off for another hot drink with lots of honey...
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